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whose young life was exhausted by prolonged want; the husband returning from the walls to his fasting wife was encouraged to perseverance by her dying accents; youth and old age, men and women, endured their privations with calm composure and silent heroism : every day they sought refreshment within the walls of the cathedral, and in the consolations of prayers and praise forgot their pain, or derived new strength with which to support it. On the 15th of June they were gladdened by a sudden gleam of hope. The sentinels on the cathedral towers saw a fleet of thirty sail in the beautiful waters of Lough Foyle. Signals were made from the steeples and returned from the mastheads, but were imperfectly understood on both sides. At last a messenger from the fleet eluded the Irish sentinels, dived under the boom, and informed the garrison that Kirke had arrived from England with troops, arms, ammunition and provisions to relieve the city. In Londonderry expectation was at the height; but a few hours of feverish joy were followed by weeks of misery. Kirke thought it unsafe to make any attempt, either by land or by water, on the lines of the besiegers, and retired to the entrance of Lough Foyle, where, during several weeks, he lay inactive.

The conduct of the siege was now entrusted to the French general Rosen, who pressed forward the operations with new vigour.

He attempted to undermine the walls ; but the besieged discovered his plan, and after a sharp fight, in which he lost a hundred of his men,




compelled him to abandon it.

This repulse, inflicted on a victorious soldier, a marshal of France, trained in all the practices of scientific war, roused his fiercest indignation, and he resolved upon an expedient, not less horrible in its atrocity than, from a military point of view, it was useless. He collected from the surrounding country all the Protestants, old men, women and children who had lingered by their familiar hearths, and at the point of the bayonet drove them to the gates of the city (July ad). It was supposed that a sight so pitiful would overcome the resolution of the defenders; but, in truth, it stimulated them to greater exertions. They issued an order that no man should utter the word 'Surrender' on pain of death. They held in their hands several prisoners of high rank, who had hitherto been treated kindly. A gallows was erected on one of the bastions, and a message sent to Rosen, requesting him to send a confessor instantly to prepare his friends for death. "The prisoners in great dismay wrote to the savage Livonian, but received no answer. They then addressed themselves to their countryman, Richard Hamilton. They were willing, they said, to shed their blood for their king; but they thought it hard to die the ignominious death of thieves in consequence of the barbarity of their own companions-in-arms. . . Hamilton was disgusted by the inhumanity of Rosen, but being only second in command, could not venture to express publicly all that he thought. He, however, remonstrated

strongly. Some Irish officers felt on this occasion, as it was natural that brave men should feel, and declared, weeping with pity and indignation, that they should never cease to have in their ears the cries of the poor women and children who had been driven at the point of the pike to die of famine between the camp and the city. Rosen persisted during forty-eight hours. In that time many unhappy creatures perished; but Londonderry held out as resolutely as ever, and he saw that his crime was likely to produce nothing but hatred and obloquy. He at length gave way, and suffered the survivors to withdraw. The garrison then took down the gallows which had been erected on the bastion.'

As the month wore on, the sufferings of the besieged necessarily increased. Their numbers were being rapidly reduced by the ravages of famine and disease.

The fighting men were so exhausted by the labour of repairing the breaches and repelling the attacks of the enemy, that they could scarcely keep their feet. They fell sometimes unwounded by shot and shell, but from absolute weakness. The grain that remained was so small in quantity that it was doled out in mouthfuls; and the defenders existed chiefly upon salted hides, or on the rats that came to devour the bodies of the unburied dead. Dogs were luxuries within the reach of few. Even in these dire circumstances the spirit of the garrison showed no abatement. There were




a few traitors, but they plotted secretly; it would not have been safe for them to speak of surrender in public. Some of the stouter hearts did not hesitate to say :—'First the horses and hides, and then the prisoners, and then each other.' 'It was afterwards related, half in jest yet not without a horrible mixture of earnest, that a corpulent citizen, whose bulk presented a strange contrast to the skeletons which surrounded him, thought it expedient to conceal himself from the numerous eyes which followed him with cannibal looks whenever he appeared in the streets. But the end was now near.'

Among the merchant ships which had come to Lough Foyle under Kirke's convoy was one called the Mountjoy. The master, Micaiah Browning, a native of Londonderry, had brought from England a large cargo of provisions. He had, it is said, repeatedly remonstrated against the inaction of the armament. He now eagerly volunteered to take the first risk of succouring his fellow-citizens, and his offer was accepted. Andrew Douglas, master of he Phoenix, who had on board a great quantity of meal from Scotland, was willing to share the danger and the honour. The two merchantmen were to be escorted by the Dartmouth, a frigate of thirty-six guns, commanded by Captain John Leake, afterwards an admiral of great fame.

'It was the thirtieth of July. The sun had just set; the evening service in the cathedral was over; and the heart-broken congregation had separated, when the sentinels on the towers saw the sails of three vessels coming up the Foyle. Soon there was a stir in the Irish camp. The besiegers were on the alert for miles along both shores. The ships were in extreme peril; for the river was low; and the only navigable channel ran very near to the left bank, where the headquarters of the enemy had been fixed, and where the batteries were most numerous. Leake performed his duty with a skill and spirit worthy of his noble profession, exposed his frigate to cover the merchantmen, and used his guns with great effect. At length the little squadron came to the place of peril. Then the Mountjoy took the lead and went right at the boom. The huge barricade cracked and gave way; but the shock was such that the Mountjoy rebounded and stuck in the mud. A yell of triumph rose from the banks ; the Irish rushed to their boats and were preparing to board; but the Dartmouth poured on them a welldirected broadside, which threw them into disorder, Just then the Phenix dashed at the breach which the Mountjoy had made, and was in a moment within the fence. Meantime the tide was rising fast. The Mountjoy began to move, and soon passed safe through the broken stakes and floating spars. But her brave master

A shot from one of the batteries had struck him, and he died by the most enviable of all deaths, in sight of the city which was his birthplace, which was his home, and which had just




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